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LPFM Frequently Asked Questions: Programming and Other Issues

Q1. We are a Catholic organization, can we use an LPFM station to rebroadcast EWTN or Relevant Radio?
Q2. We are a Seventh Day Adventist organization, can we use an LPFM station to rebroadcast 3ABN, Radio 74 or LifeTalk?
A. While it was not the original intention of the LPFM service to be used, the station can be used to carry such national programming services as long as they are noncommercial in nature.  Keep in mind though that LPFM stations that had their original construction permits awarded through the point system where points were claimed for 8 hours a day of local programming are expected to carry 8 hours of local programming from within 10 miles of the station.  This does not mean you can't carry one of these services all other hours.  While many LPFM stations are running these services, some are including local programming from local pastors and churches.  Even if a station is carrying one of these services, they are still expected to identify their stations once per hour and they are expected to have a functioning Emergency Alert System decoder working at all times.  That decoder must be able to interrupt the service being broadcast for emergency information.

Additionally for Catholic organizations wishing to carry Relevant Radio, REC has concerns regarding two of the rebroadcasting agreement tiers they provide.  These are ones where Relevant shares national donation revenues with local stations.  Since Relevant is a licensee of full-service stations, these agreements can be seen as prohibited time brokerage agreements.  For more information on this, please see REC LPFM Advisory Letter #1.  This is not an issue for Catholic LPFM stations wishing to carry EWTN programming. 

Q3. Can we rebroadcast the signal of a full-power radio station, even if it is noncommercial?
A. No.  LPFM stations cannot be used like FM translators.

Q4. Can we rebroadcast the signal of another LPFM station?
A. This is a legal grey area.  While there is no restriction on the rebroadcasting of another LPFM station, there are regulations that prohibit any LPFM station from having a management or operating agreement with another broadcast station, including another LPFM station.   LPFM stations can share programming, even in live simulcast, however all programming decisions and management of the station must be done by its own organization and the station cannot be "controlled" by a different organization.